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5 NUCLEAR STARS ✬ ELLA FRANK ✬ TAKE

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Thursday, March 31, 2016

TAKE

Temptation #2

by

Ella Frank


✬✬✬ 5 NUCLEAR STARS ✬✬✬








Happy sigh.

We are back with Logan and Tate. Both of them are starting to realize that they are moving into something serious, lasting. After being caught kissing Logan by his sister in the first installment Tate prepares to talk to his family about him going from super-straight to dating a man and he knows it won't be easy. He leans on Logan for support.






This part of the trilogy focuses more on the story and the baggage each of them come with. In between  we have this incredible chemistry between our main characters. Logan tames his inappropriate mouth a tiny bit and he starts to *feel* the connection to Tate.


“What are you trying to do, kill me?"
Tate shook his head. "No. I'm making you mine.""Don't you know? I'm already yours.”

Tate on the other hand is much more aggressive in his pursuit of the passion he has for Logan. The chemistry between our two heroes is not just off the charts, it's nuclear. Logan's dirty mouth is something else but Tate isn't far behind. Geez, he gives as good as he gets.

“There’s a hint of sweet with a full helping of stubborn and dirty as fuck.”

When both have to face their fears they have to prove how strong their connection is. As I said in my last review, Logan, when he makes himself vulnerable, is amazingly beautiful. The emotions ooze off the pages and you just want to grab this brilliant, complicated, multi-layered man and hug him silly. He also shows a lot of wisdom when Tate has to deal with his bigoted family.


“No. I’m done pretending I don’t understand what’s going on here. It’s crazy and intense, but Logan, it’s real. Every time I’m near you, I feel alive.” He closed his eyes and whispered, “What they did and what they said...that’s their choice, and you are mine.”

I have no idea how I will live without having these two in my life any longer. I see a MAJOR book hangover in my near future. This installment was rich with emotions and even though there is a third book after this one there is no cliffy. Don't stop here though, the next one is still worth reading.



5 HAWT STARS ✬ ELLA FRANK ✬ TRY

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Monday, March 28, 2016

TRY

Temptation #1

by

Ella Frank


✬✬✬ 5 HAWT STARS ✬✬✬







I am so grateful to my friends who convinced me to dive into the MM genre (you know who you are). If they hadn't I would have missed out on a lot of beautiful and in this case HOT stories.

May I introduce you to Logan and Tate:






Logan is a hot shot lawyer with the face of a fallen angel. Relationships are for other people, he much rather enjoys what life has to offer and leaves before things get serious. He is irresistable, has a mouth that spouts inappropriate things at any given time. His tongue is silver, his mouth a weapon he uses at his leisure. Logan doesn't discriminate, he takes men or women depending on mood and gusto and when his eyes fall on Tate he knows he must have him.

Tate is the new bartender at the bar Logan usually visits after work. His divorce from his bitch of a wife is in process and he can't wait to be free of the shackles. When Logan starts flirting with him he fights the attraction because, well, hello...straight? But Logan takes. He is one pushy mofo who doesn't give up until he owns what he wants.

“What do I need to get you into my bed?" Logan asked boldly.
Tate couldn't help the laugh escaping his mouth at Logan's directness. "A vagina?" He raised a brow at the man.
Releasing his arm, Logan took a step back and removed his cell phone from his pocket. He dialed a number and placed the phone to his ear."Hi hon." He then met Tate's eyes and smirked as he mouthed, A vagina I can get.”

He whittles away at Tate's resolve to resist Logan. Tate in return has a hard time dealing with his conflicting feelings. One night he decides to explore them and ends up in Logan's bed.

“You have a bad temper, Mr. Morrison.”
“Get the hell off me,” Tate snarled through his teeth.
“I’m not on you.”
“Yes, you fucking are.”“I’m against you. There’s a mighty big difference. Take last night, for example, when you were lying on my bed, naked, with your legs spread and me in between them—that was me on you.”

As days and weeks go by Logan and Tate keep seeing each other. Logan realizes that with his new obsession he has gotten more than he bargained for when Tate gets comfortable with the fact that he actually likes and is attracted to a "him".






This book is so full of sex. And I mean that in the best possible way. When it gets too much I start to skim. I didn't skim a single time, I just went to change my panties. Holy crap. How freaking hot can boy-on-boy be? Their interaction was off the charts scorching.

Tate was a wonderfully likable character who stood his ground when Logan became too pushy. He gave back as good as he got. Logan...don't you wish you had somebody like that in your life? Not for a relationship but as a friend? He has no filter and calls it as he sees it, and that in such an inappropriate fashion that you can only laugh and shake your head. However Tate surprises him at every turn and at some point he realizes that Tate might be his future.




When Logan makes himself vulnerable he is a revelation. Pure, unadulterated beauty. The unspoken feelings between them are tangible at any time and there is nothing else you can do than root for them. I was left breathless with emotions that lurked between the steamy smexy times. And those smexy times...OMG...I'll leave you with:







3.5 Spooky Stars

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016




Like most of the people who have read the first three books of this series I was waiting and anticipating the release of this one. Due to personal reasons Amanda Stevens wasn't able to release the fourth installment of the Graveyard Queen sooner so 4 years went down between the last one and the fourth book. Unfortunately this was not in favor of the story. I totally should have re-read the other ones first. However, the key points came back to me while reading.

Ms. Stevens has yet again created an atmospheric story, set in the lush South of the US, Charleston, SC. The descriptions of landscape and situations are full of the beautiful mood and gloom you can find only there. The story itself is as always focused on the mystery and on Amelia's gift. It is creepier than the last ones and it spooked me quite a bit - for all those factors it receives high marks in my book.

Unfortunately Amelia's relationship with Devlin fell flat for me. After the build up in the prior stories I expected that they'd grow together...all I found though were insecurities and distrust on both accounts, which went so far that I was starting to ask myself what they saw in each other? Why were they together? Did they even have good times during which they'd bond? I don't think there was any situation in which they weren't dead serious and actually laughing about a joke.  Yes, their relationship is highly complicated but even then...there was nothing tangible that made me root for them.

Amelia with her inner monologue kept saying how they were close one moment and then distanced the next. I didn't feel the closeness...to me those were two strangers trying at something they couldn't grasp because they didn't bond and connect on an emotional level.

While I said that the focus was on the mystery I still expected some romance which was simply lacking. Finally Ms. Amanda Stevens left us hanging with somewhat of a cliffy. I hope that she can resolve it in the next book which of course I'll definitely read again!

4.5 Groveling Stars

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Sunday, March 20, 2016






I am a huge fan of Elle Kennedy's writing. She is capable of mixing drama and humor like no other author I know. This time she gives us the King of Grovel.

John Logan has a thing for the girlfriend of his best friend Garrett. If you have read The Deal you know who I'm talking about. If not...*ding ding* go back and read The Deal. STAT! Of course he knows that going after his friend's girlfriend is frowned upon so he is miserable. He tries to avoid them at all cost.
Logan is also a bit of a manwhore although he does have standards when it comes to girls. On the outside he is the popular, successful hockey player. As it happens though he is only putting up a front. Logan isn't all that happy because of a secret he doesn't reveal, not even to his best friend.

A chance encounter because he knocks on the wrong door brings Grace into his life. She is funny and smart and has the cute habit of babbling when she gets nervous. They hit it off instantly and when campus drama reaches Grace Logan is there to save the day. Until he fucks it up badly.

“To be honest, it’s probably better if I don’t talk. Cute guys make me nervous. Like tongued-tied total-brain-malfunction nervous. All my filters shut off and suddenly I’m telling them about the time I peed my pants in the third grade during a field trip to the maple syrup factory, or how I’m scared of puppets and have mild OCD that could possibly drive me to tidy up your room the moment you turn your head.”

Grace is an endearing strong character who can hold a mean grudge. And God, she makes Logan work for forgiveness. And Logan, former bad boy, is up to the challenge to win his girl back and goes to great lengths to make sure Grace knows who she belongs to. She also didn't let Logan (or her best friend for that matter) walk all over her. She stood her ground and wasn't a pushover. Logan is hot, sweet and sometimes wise beyond years and other times too dopey to see what is right in front of him. I loved how he went out of his way to save Grace from the campus hyenas.


“And just in case my reaction to your idiocy didn’t make it clear where I stand with us, then let me spell it out for you.” I whirl around to scowl at him. “I love you, you stupid jackass.”
Of course we get to see the whole crew again and there is some pure comedy gold in their dialogues:


Just out of curiosity, what constitutes a 'nice cock shot'? I mean, is it the lighting? The pose?"
I’m being sarcastic, but Dean responds in a solemn voice. “Well, the trick is, you’ve gotta keep the balls out of it.”
"Seriously," Dean insists. "Balls aren't photogenic. Women don't want to see them.


Here is another gem:

“I nod in approval. “Damn. I should go into modeling.”
“You photograph really well,” Garrett agrees in a serious voice. “And dude, your package looks huge.”
Fuck, it totally does.”

The pace of their relationship was credible and there was a lot of steam and dirty talk involved. The way their feelings for each other developed was natural and believable. I loved their chemistry and how they were there for each other. And finally I adored their honesty and sincerity they showed once they decided to go all in.

Whenever I read a book written or co-authored by Elle Kennedy I know I'm in for a great time. So I'm looking forward to reading the next one in this series.


5 Skittles Stars

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016





“Love is friendship set in fire.”



I'm addicted to these two. I suck in every morsel I can get so I read reviews and noticed that many didn't like US as much as HIM. As you can see from my rating I absolutely adored it.


Eight months after HIM Wes and Jamie are living together. They are happy but there are also clouds darkening their relationship. Both of our boys are sick of hiding and often close to just blurting out that they love a man. Keeping their love under wraps becomes increasingly harder.


Yes, there was more drama and the lighthearted relationship and friendship they had in the first book was gone for a while. Jamie's struggle was heartbreaking and for a while I was wondering how he would come back from that. Wes. OMG I fell even harder for him. What an amazing personality. He tried so hard to help Jamie and being away so much didn't help. My heart ached for him.

And then there was Blake. I know many thought he was annoying and God, yes, he was. At the same time you only could love him though. He rooted for our boys the moment he found out about them. There was a hilarious scene when a guy hit on Wes and he went all grizzly on him.

There were also, again, funny situations and dialogues Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy have become known for and I found myself laughing hard many times.

I absolutely can't wait for the next installment and I'm wondering if Blake and Jamie's sister will get their own story. Pretty please? ;)

4.5 Stars

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Sunday, March 13, 2016



A trip down Memory Lane

I requested this ARC when I saw that this was set in the 80s. I grew up back then and the main characters in this one would be only slightly older now than I am. I experienced it all.

Smoking was still allowed on planes. Cassettes and recorders. Weird hair. Weird clothes. The panic when AIDS first made a public appearance. Good music! Isn't 80s muisc awesome? ;)

Nate comes from good stock. He moved from Austin, TX to a small town in the boonies of Wyoming when his parents divorced and his father didn't want to stay where his ex-wife was. He doesn't like this town called Warren. In fact, from the moment he arrives he wants to go back to Texas.

Cody grew up in Warren. He lives with his mom in a run down, desolate trailer. They are dirt-poor, money is always short and his mom does everything she can to make ends meet. Cody is also the school's pariah. He is gay and the popular crew makes his life a little harder. When Nate and Cody meet they build an unlikely friendship and get closer than they thought possible. They are in their last year at school and there are challenges ahead for both of them they didn't expect. 

This story is as much about friendship as it is about love. Cody also forms a tight bond with the school's most popular guy, quarterback Logan. It was heartwarming to see how Logan had Cody's back, how he didn't care that his new friend was a pariah and gay. In a way it was harder for Nate to crack Cody's surface than it was for Logan. 

When Nate finds that his feelings run much deeper than friendship he runs in utter confusion. It is understandable though. He is a kid who makes kids' decisions...but like any good kid he also makes amends and fixes his mistakes. When tragedy strikes Nate is there for Cody.

This story is realistic, the situations in which our main characters find themselves are typical for the 80s and the emotions Ms Sexton evoke hit close to home. The way she describes the hysteria of Cody's grief that goes from laughing to sobbing is amazing. Nate's dad, who struggles with the realization that his son is gay, his confusion - at no time I thought that he loved his son less for it. The people's panic to get AIDS from touching a gay person. I remember that one in particular...when research published their findings that the virus isn't contained in the homosexual communities but can also be contracted by "normal" people (whoever they were back then). 

One niggle I had, and it has been mentioned in another review: the prices of goods in comparison to the earnings don't add up. Other than that it was a brilliant, emotional, heartwarming story that ties up all loose ends. Big love.  



4 Fluffy Stars

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Tuesday, March 08, 2016






Hunter is lucky. Hunter has a big dick. Hunter doesn't feel lucky at the moment though because he is being chased by press, media and fans. He is the frontman of a shooting star band and alot of that shooting has to do with Hunter's pee-pee. Because, you see, he and his appendage grace the cover of the Rolling Stone. Not naked mind you. But ever since he is being reduced to...this.

Kennedy is the band's PR lady and responsible for them to make a good impression when they launch their new album and use the wave the band is riding on the Manaconda snake...err...train. She is a worker, focused and serious in her job, still, she's a little firecracker. She doesn't take her responsibility lightly so how come she finds herself immensely attracted to this rock star? And it sure as hell is not little Hunter.

A couple of days ago I lamented the insta-love/-lust of another book and how it just didn't work for me. This was insta-lust as well and for some reason it worked without even trying. It was sweet, funny, fluffy and delicious. And oh my word...those sex scenes were hot. It was an easy fast read with low angst. I had one WTF moment which happened incidentally at the same time when Hunter had a quick TSTL moment. So yeah...I can live with that! Both main characters were adorable and beyond likable.

If you need to get out of a book hangover this is the perfect story. I will definitely read the stories of the band members of Hammered...and I'm so freaking curious to know what's going on with Bats and Hunter's ex-Bitch.


ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

5 Stars

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Sunday, March 06, 2016




Let's take a minute or ten to appreciate the cover. 

Now. The heart of this story is serious. We are invited to a small town in Australia called Red Maine. This town could be anywhere in the world because, unfortunately, it still is a placeholder for what goes on in narrow-minded people. 

Meet Will Tanner and North Underwood. Will has been an openly gay guy since his teenage years. In this small town you are  judged, sentenced and ostracized for being what is deemed not normal. He has been living with the knowledge for a long time and while he isn't OK with it he has learned to live with homophobic people. Sarcasm is his defense against bigotry.  

North likes women. A lot of them. Half of the town's women. But. He has a dirty secret called Will Tanner. North and Will used to be best friends but that summer with Will twelve years ago left both of them destroyed. Enter an abusive father and they went separate ways. 

"Once, North tore my whole world apart. I promised myself I'd never fall again. Turns out I lied.
Neither of them has forgotten what they were like and Will's chip on his shoulder is as big as the whole continent of Australia. North killed him when he walked away. What he doesn't know is that it killed North too. 


"....because we're not friends. Not anymore. And though I maybe be the only person in the entire world he can talk to, instead he swallows it all back like the licqor in his glass, and I grow tired of trying to find North in all that he won't say."

This story isn't about putting labels on a relationship. It's about love and finding out who you are. And not giving a damn what people think about you - because at the end of the day you need to be able to look into your own eyes and and say that you didn't betray yourself or anything you believe in. 

"You can't control what people think of you, North. You don't get a say in what makes them tick, in what they're okay with and what they aren't. That's beyond even your capabilities. The thing you do have a say in is whether you're ok with you."
The beauty of this story is that they both grow, how Will learns to forgive and North how to conquer his fears. 

"The fear, a blackness that roils constantly in my belly, threatens to overcome me and all I want to do is sink to my knees and sob. Instead, I fall into Will, and I find it's a pretty soft place to land."
It's the journey of two men who have been in love with each other their whole lives and about learning to own up to it and letting go of hurt and anger. It is not about North admitting that he is gay - it is about him admitting and embracing his love for his childhood friend. And we are invited to join them. On the journey we learn what made them fall apart and why North turned his back on Will (and believe you me, it's a revelation and to me it had little to do with cowardice).

The sexy times are steamy and frequent (but don't distract from the story) and I quote my friend Jen here: "Why do gay guys have the hottest sex?"

It was my first Carmen Jenner book and I absolutely adore her writing style. The scarcasm, the snark, the emotion. Not my last one, I swear, not my last Carmen Jenner book. 



2.5 Stars

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Saturday, March 05, 2016





Blurb:
Trapper Montgomery
His darkness drew me in.
A mystery with a past I wanted to solve.
He was cold, like ice, but set me on fire.
A heat I hadn't felt in ages.
But when I saw his face, I burned...
In mourning
Again.


Brea Bradley
She melted from my voice--shuddered from my touch.
But trembled from the memories
That my face brought back.
She wanted more...Maybe even him.
I wasn't the hand she counted on.
But I was what she was dealt...
A Wild Ace with no way to win.




I have to admit that the premisse of the story was really good and it had a lot of potential. So what was it that didn't work for me? I read so many stellar reviews before going into this story that I thought I'd be in for a treat...

INSTA-LOVE
While I usually don't mind a faster developement Trapper and Brea went from 0-100 in 1 second and the next second they loved each other. From beginning to end it felt like 3 weeks had passed. There was nothing natural about these two. The sex? I give you that, it was hot. I started skimming the sex scenes the closer I got to the end. That was a new one for me.


Main Characters
I liked Trapper in the beginning. He was badass or so I thought. The further I got into the story he came across as pussy whipped, and not the good way, because - as mentioned - it felt like 3 weeks until he went from badass to soppy.

Brea...god I am so sorry but I disliked her big time. She jumped to conclusions and made assumptions without asking and questioning why things appeared the way they did. She was judgmental and didn't listen and thought the worst of the guy she banged. Asshole today, and sudden hero tomorrow. What now?


Dialogue
Cringe-worthy. Not going to say more...

The backstory was really good, just the execution failed to make this great. I have seen the reviews and I'm glad other people enjoyed it. I didn't much.


ARC received via Netgally in exchange for an honest review



5 Amazeballs Stars

| On
Tuesday, March 01, 2016





“Just out of curiosity,” she says, “after you wake up in the morning, do you admire yourself in the mirror for one hour or two?” “Two,” I reply cheerfully. “Do you high five yourself?” “Of course not.” I smirk. “I kiss each of my biceps and then point to the ceiling and thank the big man upstairs for creating such a perfect male specimen.”

She didn't see him coming. He snuck up on her and stuck to the soles of her shoes like chewing gum you can't get rid of.

Hannah aced the test. Garrett...well...didn't. Since his average grades depend on whether he can play the game that means everything to him he has to find a way to improve his grade on the makeup test. It is pure coincidence that he finds out about Hanna's A so he wants to strike a deal with her. Hannah doesn't like jocks very much. She thinks they are shallow so she avoids them like the plague. Until she sees Justin who seems so different. When Garrett approaches her and tries to convince her to tutor him she slaps a resounding "NO" in his face. But fear not - Garrett has a plan and he lures her into giving in by offering her a way to make Justin interested in her. GAME ON!

The story of Hannah and Garrett is so low angst despite the serious topic Hannah was dealing with I was wondering if I was actually reading a New Adult novel. Miss Kennedy, I bow to you.

There is a lot of back story that I don't want to disclose in my review because I think it's something that should be experienced while reading. For those who need a trigger warning (highlight to see): rape & domestic violence

The banter between Hannah and Garrett was hilarious. I had a lot of laughing out loud moments. I'll post a couple of quotes because, damn, I do want you guys to read this awesome book.

I want to murder him in his sleep, A. No, I want to murder him when he’s awake so he can see the joy on my face when I do it.”

Another one that had me in stitches:

“Him: Confession1 I deleted all the 1 Direction from your iPod when u were in the can.You’re welcome. Me: WHAT?? I’m going to kiss u! Him: With tongue?It takes me a second to realize what happened, at which point I’m completely mortified. Me: Kill u! I meant KILL. u. Damn autocorrect. Him: Surrrrrre. Let’s blame it on autocorrect. Me: Shut it. Him: I think someone wants to kiss me…”
And one more for good measure:


“The second I encounter his erection, my jaw drops.“Oh my God, are you kidding me?”He looks startled. “What’s wrong?”“Are you taking human growth hormones or something?" I snatch my hand back, fighting another rush of nervousness. “There’s no way that huge man monster is fitting inside me!”Garrett’s head abruptly drops in the crook of his arm as a shudder racks his body. At first I think he’s pissed off. Or maybe even crying. It takes several seconds before I realize what’s happening. He’s laughing. Scratch that – he’s in hysterics.”

And those aren't just the best ones. There are lots more where these came from.

I had a blast experiencing these two fall in love. Garrett gave Hannah a run for her money and she loved every step of the way. She was strong and snarky and let her guy work to deserve her. And boy, Garrett...swoon-worthy. He fought for his girl. Even dirty if necessary. They both were well developed characters and the side characters just as awesome. There were amazingly sweet moments between our two main characters.


“How did I go so long without noticing you, damn it? Why did it take seeing a stupid A on your midterm to make me notice?”
He sounds so genuinely upset that I scoot closer and kiss him.
“It doesn’t matter. You know me now.”
“I do,” he says fiercely.


If I  didn't have a couple ARCs lined up which I committed to I'd totally read this series back to back. It's definitely re-reading material and I honestly can't wait to continue with the next book.

One more quote because it was one of my favorites:


“Penises! Sweet Jesus. Penises everywhere. Horror slams into me as I register what I'm seeing. Oh God. I've stumbled onto a penis convention. Big penises and small penises and fat penises and penis-shaped penises. It doesn't matter which direction I move my head because everywhere I look I see penises.”